Time is running out.
Those with a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the fight for C-band spectrum say the FCC is nearing the homestretch in the C-band proceeding. Meaning, a decision on satellite’s mid-band frequency of 3.7 to 4.2 GHz for the expansion of 5G broadband throughout the US could likely come down as early as next month.
And, given the recent direction of questions posed by the FCC to the broadcast industry, one can infer that the FCC is trying to figure out some way to justify a decision to clear more than the 200 MHz that broadcast industry experts predict can be safely released to 5G broadband within the next 18 months.
Why the push for more, when the companies that own and operate the satellites have agreed to release 200 Mhz of prime satellite real estate to broadband?
Because the happy cohabitation of broadcasting and mobile data is not the objective.
The multi-billion dollar wireless broadband companies want broadcasters on the receive end to migrate to broadband – to purchase terrestrial IP for a monthly fee.
And that fee, my friends, will likely become a tremendous financial burden for broadcasters operating in small and medium markets.
A SHORT SYNOPSIS
Mobile data giants like Verizon, Sprint and Google want complete access to the satellite frequency between 3.7 and 4.2 Ghz for the expansion of 5G broadband across the country.
Of course, that’s the same frequency that so many industries like radio, television, cable, hospitals, colleges, universities, even the gaming industry) use, and has historically used for over 30 years. Why? Because it’s flexible, reliable, and extremely affordable.
As I’ve mentioned before, is a plan out there that allows C-band incumbents and 5G to effectively coexist on the same mid-band frequency, and that solution is in the form of the C-Band Alliance’s proposal before the FCC.
The CBA is pushing a “market-based approach” where the mid-band frequency is repurposed, with 5G gaining 200 MHz of C-band space and all C-band users being relocated to the 300 MHz left. Check out this video that illustrates CBA’s plan.
C-band incumbents would see filters installed on all C-band antennas (paid for by broadband, installed by trained techs) and a buffer zone (think DMZ) between the two users are part of the plan.
But the broadband industry wants more. They claim 200 MHz is not enough. They have given very little consideration on the needs of incumbent users and how their unfettered signal will affect C-band’s pin-point reception.
The future of C-band as an affordable delivery method for US broadcasters is in jeopardy. If 5G is given unbridled access to the mid-band frequency, what is feared will become a reality. Broadcasters using C-band for content delivery will face serious signal disruption.
TAKE ACTION NOW
I may be sounding like the proverbial broken record, but if you are still sitting on the sidelines on this issue, STOP! ACT! BE HEARD!
Here are a list of action items we encourage you to tackle:
It’s never too late to contact lawmakers in Washington. Your Senators and Congressman have been hearing a lot about 5G – from 5G. They need to hear your concerns about the impact an unmanaged 5G would have on your signal. You can contact them by going to their website.
Enlist listeners. On our website’s “Resources” page you will find two, 30 second PSA’s, written and voiced by LinkUp, that encourages listeners to appeal to lawmakers about protecting radio. You can download the audio files to use on your network, or record the PSA’s in your studio.
Contact industry leadership. Are you (or the network you represent) members of the NAB, NRB or the SBE? If so, make them aware of your concerns, and ask them to continue to push the FCC to support the CBA proposal.